Taste foreign food in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most diverse and multicultural cities, so it’s no surprise that you can find food from all over the world. In fact, some of the best food in the Dutch capital has its roots abroad, having been brought in by immigrant cultures, or simply established due to a fascination with foreign and exotic food from the natives.
South East Asian and Far Eastern
Indonesian food is very popular in Amsterdam. Order a risjttafel, which is a medley of small dishes. Visit Blauw for the most authentic Indonesian food. Bird is home to curry dishes, while Kinnaree is at excellent location (by Anne Frank House).
Amsterdam’s Sea Palace is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese food. Sherpa offers traditional Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine. Genki is one of the most popular all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant. For an alternative Japanese dining experience, try Japanese Pancake World, which serves pancakes in Osaka, Hiroshima or Negi-yaki style.
The size and diversity of cultures in Africa means that traditional food from the continent varies depending on the region. Paloma Blanca may have a Spanish name, but the decoration and food on offer is straight out of a Moroccan Souk, with cous cous and tajine dishes.
Head to Azmarino to sample traditional meat stews, flavoured with authentic Eritrean and Ethiopian spices. There’s no cutlery here, your dish will be served with thick pancakes which you use to scoop your meat, and your beer served in a coconut shell. It’s a social way to eat, with wonderful African music and décor.
Despite its popularity with British tourists, Indian food is actually surprisingly rare in Amsterdam. That’s not to say that you can’t find quality Indian food in the Dutch capital, however, and Moti Mahal is among the best around. With an extensive menu offering traditional Indian meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, as well as curries and desserts all beautifully presented, Moti Mahal is the ideal destination for Indian food in the city.
Alternatively, Ashoka offers fine Indian and Nepalese cuisine and Vijaya specialises in northern Indian Swadish food, both offering a unique Indian dining experience.
Middle Eastern and Turkish
Turkish cuisine has been around in Amsterdam for almost as long as Indonesian food, and is popular and visible throughout the entire city. Levant is one of the city’s most popular specialist Middle Eastern restaurants, with a wide-ranging menu inspired by the Levantine people, Europeans who inhabited Turkey, Syria and the Lebanon. Divan also offers a sit-down alternative to the many takeaway Turkish and Lahmacun spots in the city, offering a selection of hot and cold mezze, as well as meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
Meanwhile, Artist offers great-value Lebanese and other middle-eastern food including hummus, shawarma, mezze, soups and more.
As you’d imagine, Amsterdam offers a range of food from its European neighbours. La Zoccola del Pacioccone is a traditional pizzeria with a cool, retro décor and a huge stone oven, while Pasta Pasta’s two locations offer cheap and cheerful pasta dishes, with sauces made fresh that day, and the options to add in plenty of toppings and ingredients.
La Oliva offers food from Spain’s Basque region, including their popular pintxos (small meat skewers) for a great price. For an elegant French dining experience, try Ciel Bleu, with its gorgeous décor and wonderful wine list.
South American and Surinamese
There are many Argentinian steakhouses in Amsterdam. One of the finest is Toro Dorado. Alternatively, try Gauchos, a Dutch chain restaurant offering Argentinian steaks, or Alberto’s, an Uruguayan steakhouse.
For Brazilian, try The Samba Kitchen, and stuff yourself with barbecued beef, washed down with caipirinhas!
Surinamese food tends to take in influences from Chinese and Hindu traditions, and this can be seen in restaurants such as Wan Pipel.